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Student Government president Lionel Moise spins the Wellness Wheel at last week's Spring Involvement Fair on the Edward T. Foote II University Green
  What's Happening?

Mini Canes Recreational Sports Camp Enrollment Starts Today
Registration for the popular Mini Canes Recreational Sports Camp at the Herbert Wellness Center on the Coral Gables campus begins today. The camp is open to boys and girls ages 6 through 12. Daily activities vary from swimming lessons to arts and crafts. All activities take place inside the Herbert Wellness Center or on the Yaron Intramural Field located directly behind the building. The camp runs for four, two-week sessions with the first session starting on Monday, June 14. Before-care and after-care are also available. For more information, call 305-284-8510 or visit www.miami.edu/wellness/camp.

Space Closures this Weekend
This weekend the Herbert Wellness Center will host the Admissions Office Winter Open House. With approximately 1,600 prospective students and their families in attendance, the building will be impacted with room closures and class cancellation. Please note the following changes to our normal schedule:

Saturday, February 13

  • Main Gym basketball courts closed for the entire day
  • Multi-A closed 2 p.m. - 10 p.m.

Sunday, February 14

  • Main Gym basketball courts closed for the entire day
  • Multi-A closed 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. (the 10 a.m. Super Sculpt class is cancelled)

Sports Fest Next Weekend
Next weekend the Herbert Wellness Center will host the 25th Annual Sports Fest - a friendly, weekend long competition between students from across campus. Activities will include swimming, basketball, track and field, as well as traditional field sports. Please be aware that between Friday afternoon, February 19 and Sunday afternoon, February 21 there will be approximately 2,500 students participating in activities throughout the building. Areas including the pool, main gym, and racquetball/squash courts will be unavailable for general use. Please be sure to plan your workouts accordingly.

Research Study Participants Needed
The University of Miami Exercise and Sport Science Department is looking for persons, ages 55-80 years old, to take part in a research study involving aquatic exercise classes to be held at the University of Miami Herbert Wellness Center on the Gables campus and the Medical Wellness Center. These classes will be held twice a week for ten weeks, and will be of no cost to study participants. Participants will also receive fitness evaluations prior to and following completion of the aquatic training program. For more information contact David Edwards at 305-284-3024 or d.edwards1@umiami.edu.

The University of Miami Exercise and Sport Science Department is looking for people 60 years and older who are not currently participating in a formal balance training program but are interested in participating in a balance research study. This study hast two components. The first component consists of performing a series of balance tests over three visits to the Exercise and Sport Sciences Lab. The second component consists of an 8-week balance training program. Both components are free to the participant. For further information contact Abby Bedient at a.bedient@umiami.edu or call the Exercise and Sport Sciences Lab at 305-284-3024.

Massage Discount for UM Faculty and Staff
UM faculty and staff are eligible to receive a 10% discount on a 50-minute massage at the Herbert Wellness Center. In addition, UM employees who are not members of the Center will receive a day-pass to enjoy free use of the facility on the day of their massage appointment. The licensed massage therapists on staff, one male and one female, are available weekdays for morning, afternoon, and evening appointments. Relieve stress or just pamper yourself - make a massage appointment today! Call the Wellness Suite at 305-284-LIFE(5433).

Wellness Education Series
The Herbert Wellness Center is proud to promote healthy living by offering a series of programs on various topics, ranging from fitness and nutrition to stress management. The wellness education series is open to everybody, regardless of membership status. Registration is required prior to participation in any of the programs. Visit the Wellness Suite or call 305-284-LIFE(5433) to reserve your place. Click here for the full schedule. Here are some of our upcoming programs in the series:


Meditation Classes
Relax and unwind as you learn to meditate. You'll develop mental clarity and discipline, as well as enhance creativity and inner peace in your pursuit of personal satisfaction. Brought to you by Sri Chinmoy Centres International, classes are free and open to students, employees, and the community.

  • "Learn to Meditate" Tuesday, February 16, 7 p.m. - 8 p.m., Wellness Suite
  • "Meditate: My Heart Garden" Sunday, February 21, 5 p.m. - 7 p.m., Wellness Suite

Family and Friends CPR
Thursday, February 18, 11:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m., Classroom. The Family & Friends CPR program teaches you how to perform CPR in adults or children, and how to help an adult or child who is choking.  This course is designed for family members, friends, and members of the general community who want to learn CPR but do not need a course completion card.  (Optional: Infant CPR and choking; Adult, Child, and Infant CPR with Mask). Cost: student members - $10, non-student members - $20, non-members - $30, and FREE for UM employees (call for details).

Cooking Class - Worldly Noodles
Monday, February 22 , 6:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m., Instructional Kitchen. Featured recipes include All Natural Better-Than-Boxed Beef Stroganoff, Chicken Pad Thai, and Cabbage Pasta. Cost (including demonstration, recipes, and food tasting): student members - $25, non-student members - $30, and non-members - $35. Receive a 10% discount when you purchase a three-class series. Classes must be purchased at the same time to receive this discount.

Heartsaver CPR
Tuesday, February 23 , 3 p.m. - 5 p.m., Classroom. The HS CPR course teaches CPR and relief of choking in adults, children, and infants, as well as use of barrier devices for all ages. (Optional: Infant CPR and choking; Adult, Child, and Infant CPR with Mask). Cost: student members - $15, non-student members - $25, non-members - $35.


Parking Information
Please note that the BankUnited North, VIP, and/or Serpentine lots may be closed for the following events:

  • February 10 - Men's Basketball vs. Georgia Tech at 7 p.m.
  • February 11 - Women's Basketball vs. UVA at 7 p.m.
  • February 13 - KC and the Sunshine Band at 7 p.m.
  • February 17 - Men's Basketball vs. Duke at 7 p.m.
  • February 21 - Women's Basketball vs. Georgia Tech at 2 p.m.
  • February 23 - Men's Basketball vs. Virginia at 7 p.m.

For more specific parking information, please visit the Parking bulletin board to the right of the Herbert Wellness Center exit gates.

  Tips for a Healthier

Health-E Tidbit: Deep Breathing Techniques
Deep breathing techniques are a great way to fight stress and anxiety, and help you relax. Here are basic steps to deep breathing, courtesy of the American Academy of Family Physicians:

  • Lie on your back, on a flat surface
  • Place one hand on your stomach just above your belly button, and the other hand on your chest
  • Inhale slowly, making sure that your stomach rises a bit
  • Hold your breath for a second
  • Slowly exhale, letting your stomach sink back down

Source: Discovery Health

Jumpstart Your Routine
Does your exercise routine need a swift kick in the gluteus maximus? It's easy to get bored with the same old exercises every day. Why not try a downward facing dog to planks?


Step 1

Step 2
Step 3



This is a common sequence found in yoga. It will help you strengthen your upper body while also focusing on flexibility of the lower body as well as balance.

Step 1: Start on all fours with your wrists 6 - 12 inches in front of your shoulders. Separate your knees hip-width apart and curl your toes under.

Step 2: Pushing evenly into your palms, lift your knees off the floor. Lift your tail bone toward the ceiling and straighten your legs so your body looks like an inverted letter “V.” (It’s okay if your heels are off the floor.) Hold for two breaths.

Step 3: Transfer your weight forward into the top of a push-up position (plank). Push through the balls of your feet and keep the core strong. Don’t let your back round or arch. Shift your gaze so you’re looking down at the mat in front of you (this will keep the neck long). Hold for two breaths.

Step 4: Push back into downward facing dog, rolling from the balls of your feet to your heels. Repeat the sequence again.


Ask a Trainer
Have a question you'd like answered by a personal trainer? We're here to help.


Q: How can I stay fit when spending most of my time at a computer?


  • Sit with proper posture: Slumping in your chair may feel better at times, but in the long term, your body will pay for it. This position puts a lot of strain on your spine, causing more pressure on the disks between the vertebrae, thus possibly leading to an injury. Sitting with poor posture will also increase the risk of low back pain and muscle stiffness.
  • Adjust your computer: Be sure you are not straining your neck trying to look down or up at your computer screen. The monitor should be visible by looking straight ahead.
  • Switch ears: If you are consistently using the telephone on the same side, be sure to switch. Most people rest the phone on their shoulder, causing the shoulder and neck muscles to tense. Failure to switch sides will cause muscle imbalances and possibly lead to headaches and neck and shoulder stiffness. Ultimately, a headset (hand-free phone) should be used to help alleviate such complications.
  • Remodel the work area: Periodically, be sure to change your work area, especially for commonly used items. This will prevent your body from developing muscle imbalances due to repetitive stress.
  • Prevent Carpal Tunnel Syndrome: Throughout the day, frequently stretch your fingers (spread them apart and flex and extend them) and stretch your wrists (flex and extend them and move them in circular motions) to prevent chronic strain. Also, having a proper set up at your desk will help in the prevention of this syndrome: 1) align your wrists so your fingers are in line with your forearm; 2) make sure your keyboard is not tilted up in the back. It is better to have it tilting down; and 3) try to type lightly.
  • Take mini breaks: Sitting in the same position all day long will cause lack of circulation throughout your body, leading to tingling in your fingers and toes as well as swelling in your feet. Taking small intermittent breaks throughout the day will help regain the circulation. Also, when sitting for a long period of time, your spine remains in a state of compression. Therefore, small breaks will help to decompress your spine, which will help reduce the chance of back pain. Lastly, relieving yourself from work, even for a short period of time, will help decrease mental stress. Taking a small break can be taking a walk to the restroom or coffee machine, walking up a flight of stairs, stretching or simply moving your body.
  • Stretch your muscles: There are common muscles that tend to tense for those who spend the day sitting. These muscles include, but are not limited to, the neck, shoulders and back.
  • Lunch breaks are not just for lunch: Walk to a nearby restaurant, visit the Herbert Wellness Center, walk for half of your lunch hour, move as much as possible!
  • Fuel your body: Drink plenty of fluids. This will help you to keep your body hydrated and working most efficiently. Dehydration can cause you to feel tired and sluggish. Eat small meals throughout the day to fuel your body properly.

Source: www.ptonthenet.com


Have questions for a trainer? E-mail them to wellnesscenter@miami.edu and you might see your answer in our next issue.

Did You Know?
Interested in science-based fitness facts? Our resident exercise physiologist and associate director of fitness, will share fitness and nutrition information that is fact, not fiction.


Improved strength, improved balance, increased bone density, and muscle tone; these are all known benefits of weight (resistance) training for older adults. A new study shows that weight-bearing exercises may also help minimize cognitive decline and impaired mobility.  The study, published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, found that 12 months of resistance training improved cognitive function in women aged 65 to 75 years old. This is important because cognitive function is a very important factor in independent living. The researchers were able to show that those seniors that trained with weights only once or twice a week improved their ability to make accurate decisions and increased walking speed. Given that older adults are the largest growing component of the population, it is essential that effective strategies are developed to improving quality of life and independent living which can cut millions of dollars from current health care expenses. 




In the News


Has life just been too busy to read the Health and Fitness section of your newspaper? Let us provide you with a few highlights of what's made the news lately.

Talking to Tweens About Healthy Eating
It's an uneasy topic when moms discuss their daughters' weight. It's no different for the first lady. When Michelle Obama mentioned her daughters' weight once had gotten "off balance" in speeches about childhood obesity, she came under criticism from parenting bloggers and anti-eating-disorder activists. They said the first lady inadvertently brought attention to her two young daughters' weight when they are at a sensitive age.

Obama's mention of her girls in this context raised an issue many parents may confront. When parents become aware of a possible health problem related to their children's weight, how can they address the problem without causing self-esteem issues for youngsters?

It's better to address a weight problem with children directly rather than pretending it doesn't exist, said Dr. Tom Robinson, the director of the Center for Healthy Weight at the Stanford University School of Medicine. "In our experience, obese children know that they are heavy. They may compare themselves with their peers or kids they see in the media and, not infrequently, they may have been teased about their weight," he said. Parents should have an open dialogue with their children and assure them they are loved regardless of weight, he said.

Obama recently unveiled more details of a nationwide campaign tackling childhood obesity. Although her discussion of her daughters sparked controversy, observers say Obama had good intentions by personalizing a glaring public health problem. "Probably what she was doing was making people realize she's saying this as a mother, that she has faced this issue," said Marilyn Tanner-Blasiar, a spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association. "She was bringing it home, but it was perceived the wrong way. It's a delicate issue, and being honest about it is important, but you have to be careful, because kids listen.

"They become on high alert when the topic is about them even though they act like they are not listening. They will overhear. If it's going to be hurtful to them or harm them, you don't want to go there," said Tanner-Blasiar, who works with children.

Obama talked about how at one point, the family's pediatrician "warned that he was concerned that something was getting off balance" with her children's body mass index, in a January 28 speech in Alexandria, Virginia. She said the family addressed the issue with small changes: Daughters Malia and Sasha drank water instead of sugary drinks, low-fat milk instead of whole milk, and reduced their TV time.

Blogger Jeanne Sager questioned the effect Obama's comments might have on the girls. Sager wrote on a Strollerderby blog: "Their mother is trying for the greater good, but she's taken an extremely touchy subject out into the open. They are being raised in front of everybody. There are some things that should be kept private," said Sager, who battled bulimia as a teenager.

Dr. Ovidio Bermudez, the medical director of the Eating Disorders Program at Laureate Psychiatric Clinic and Hospital in Tulsa, Oklahoma, said weight matters are usually a sensitive subject and should be discussed within the family.

"Imagine if a child is losing their hair," he said. "That's something that would be addressed in a private fashion with a lot of sensitivity for their emotions and their implications. It's the same thing addressing weight. You have to be really careful that you don't take something so tightly close to emotion [and put it] into the public eye. These things need to be dealt [with] as private matters."

Nutritionists and pediatricians offered tips on ways to address children's diet and fitness issues:

  • Focus on health, not weight - Compliment your children on lifestyle behaviors like "Great snack choice" or "You really run fast" rather than on the loss of a pound or two, said Tanner-Blasiar, a registered dietitian.
  • Be a partner in health, not the police officer - It doesn't work if a parent hovers and monitors what the child eats and his or her activities. Parents can improve the whole family's health by not buying junk food, sugary drinks, avoiding fast foods and planning weekend activities for the entire family. Not being the police does not mean children get a free-for-all. Parents need to set firm limits, Robinson said.
  • Treat children equally - Even if one of your kids has issues related to obesity and another doesn't, make sure one isn't getting a cookie and the other is getting a stalk of broccoli. The disparity in treatment breeds resentment and negativity, experts said.
  • Create an open environment to discuss issues - Sudden fluctuations in weight may have nothing to do with food. The child could have emotional issues that trigger eating disorders, said Lynn Grefe, chief executive officer at the National Eating Disorders Association.
  • Move - Don't just talk about eating right and exercising. Lead by example by making lifestyle changes as a family. Turn off TVs and computers. Look for ways to spend fun, active time together.

Here are things to avoid:

  • Don't play the blame game - Avoid yelling, bribing, threatening or punishing children about weight, food or physical activity. These issues can turn into parent-child battlegrounds that breed shame and anger. The worse children feel about their weight, the more likely they are to overeat or develop an eating disorder.
  • Don't label your children - Some parents give labels to their children. Tanner-Blasiar said she runs into families who label their children as the slow, fast, skinny or fat one. Be careful, she said, because sometimes kids "live up to their labels."
  • Don't criminalize the cupcake - An occasional treat is OK, as long as treats are eaten in moderation. Making something forbidden tends to have unintended effects.
  • Don't disparage your own weight - Kids are always listening and internalizing what their parents say and do. Parents who belittle themselves and their own figures inadvertently could pass that on to their children.
  • Avoid the f-word - Getting to a healthy weight is not about becoming skinnier or prettier. Emphasize health over appearances.
Source: CNN